Sleeves rolled up! Hands washed, but still damp, let’s get rolling! The trick is to wrap the mozzarella cheese entirely with the meat, so it’s hiding, ready to be discovered when everyone tucks in. Surprise, surprise!
Produced in a facility that processes milk, sesame, eggs, fish, shellfish, crustaceans, mustard, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, soybean and sulphites.
Mozzarella Cheese, shredded(ContainsMilk/Lait)
Basil Pesto(ContainsMilk/Lait, Soy/Soja)
Italian Breadcrumbs(ContainsWheat/Blé, Milk/Lait, Soy/Soja, Egg/Oeuf, Sesame/Sésame, Sulphites/Sulfite)
Salt and Pepper*
Before starting, preheat the oven to 425°F. Wash and dry all produce.
Add 10 cups water and 2 tsp salt to a large pot. (NOTE: Use same amounts for 4 ppl.) Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. While the water comes to a boil, peel, then roughly chop shallot. Peel, then mince or grate garlic.
Combine beef, breadcrumbs, half the pesto and 1/4 tsp salt (dbl for 4 ppl) in a large bowl. (NOTE: If you have eggs and desire a firmer meatball, add 1 egg to the meatball mixture.) Form beef mixture into 8 equal patties (16 for 4 ppl). Add 1 tsp mozzarella in the middle of each patty, then shape and press patty firmly around the cheese, fully enclosing it to create a ball. Repeat until all meatballs are formed.
Add cavatappi to the pot of boiling water. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 9-10 min. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water (dbl for 4 ppl). Drain cavatappi and return to the same pot, off heat. Add spinach, remaining pesto and half the reserved pasta water. Stir until spinach is wilted. Cover and set aside.
While cavatappi cooks, add meatballs to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake in the middle of the oven, until cooked through, 14-15 min.**
While meatballs bake, heat a large non-stick pan over medium heat. When hot, add 1/2 tbsp oil (dbl for 4 ppl), then shallot and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until softened, 2-3 min. Add crushed tomatoes and remaining reserved pasta water. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until slightly thickened, 2-3 min.
Divide the cavatappi between bowls. Top with meatballs and tomato sauce. Sprinkle Parmesan overtop.